Grateful Dead Live at Capitol Theater on 1971-02-18
* first performance.
The original reels of the Port Chester run of '71 were audibly tainted due to a cable problem. The result is a tone which hovers around 8000 Hz with an amplitude of about +20 dB above the noise floor. This translate to a very annoying pitch, especially during quiet sections, which is in the old-tv-tube or lousy-hard-disk or maybe even the-sound-you-hear-after-you-slam-your-head-against-a-concrete-wall class of 'whine'. Because this interference is 'monochromatic' it's easy to get rid of if you have the processing power and a quick FFT algorithm. I used the filter-shaping capabilities of the Sonic Foundry Noise Reduction Plugin to tailor a very narrow notch filter which attenuated the interference without affecting the rest of the signal. And it's all done in the digital domain. Huzzah!
As a side note, I actually ended up crafting many filters to process these shows. The frequency of the interference actually drifted anywhere from 7700 to 8100 Hz during a given show. This was probalby due to a slightly wandering reel speed. It made my work harder but when I tried a much wider filter I started to be able to hear the attenuation in the music. The filters generally go like this (see info file for diagram).
The end result is no more annoying whine!
I also removed some of the nasty mic feedback in the 2/18/71 Bertha using this type of filter.
Subject: I hope CharlotteBegonia is being Ironic
Subject: Dark Star good, but not transcendental
To start, this show comes recommended by no less of an authority than Wikipedia (tongue in cheek) which specifically mentions this show as considered one of the best Dark Star performances of all time. Since I've been jumping around in the Archive based on fellow listener reviews and recommendations from a wide variety of other sources, I decided I should probably give it a go. I have to say that I am entirely underwhelmed.
This is a solid show with decent sound quality, no doubt, and while Dark Star is good/notable for containing the first performance of Wharf Rat, I really can't understand for the life of me why so many (again, according to Wikipedia) would consider this performance to be one of the best.
Maybe this is residual from the time when cassette tapes were passed and word of mouth ruled over access to such a marvelously complete archive of music as we have here. Maybe it is the less than polished sounds of Wharf Rat rather inelegantly breaking through the middle. Maybe I just wasn't "there" man... Whatever the reason, it is always matter of personal preference, so I would be remiss if I didn't encourage everyone reading this to immediately take a serious listen to the Dark Star from 10/25/69 Winterland performance. Again, a solid show overall, and the Dark Star performance explores the same themes attempted in this Port Chester show but takes them to a height of absolute transcendental exuberance.
I'll save any other comments about the Winterland show for my review of that performance, but your life will NOT be the same again, I promise!
Click here if you want to feel the joy of life today:
Subject: 45 years later
Subject: Listen for a big smile
Subject: Dark Star Reprise
A **GREAT** essay on this Dark Star its precedents and uniqueness over here at the Grateful Dead Guide http://deadessays.blogspot.com/2010/03/dark-star-1971.html
Subject: my favorite dark star.
and who is the opening act
you might ask?
i am not kidding
Subject: An absolute smoker
Also, this show is great. Farewell to Mickey for a little while, and they introduced some songs we now love so much (Bertha, Wharf Rat, Greatest Story, Loser, And Playing in the Band, DAMN!). The Dark-Wharf sandwich is so magical. A must have.
after owning the 'So Many Roads' boxset for years, only recently had i heard it in the complete context of this Dark Star, and i gotta say i almost was too.
god bless the Grateful Dead
Subject: 40 years ago today
Subject: Ned Lagin
Subject: prt chstr shws
Subject: Get the other version
I personally prefer to listen to the original tapes with their various noises and glitches, rather than 'cleaned up' versions where NEW noises/glitches have been introduced.
(Rating is for this particular copy, rather than the show of course)
Subject: More Beautiful Jam
The jam coming out of Dark Star is just sublime, as has already been said. The rest of the show is REALLY strong too, especially the Loser and the multiple-song run at the end. You won't regret checking this one out.
Subject: Remastering notes on this show
Subject: First PITB too... Also Mickey's last for a while
However, this is an awesome show. I about wore out this tape years ago. Look at all the FIRSTS! First Wharf Rat in a Dark Star sandwich!!?! Too good to be true. The definitive Dark Star, for me. What I wouldn't give to witness this first set in person.
Subject: Changed my relationship to Dead Music
Subject: beautiful beautiful
Subject: You can get this show!
Subject: So many firsts!
A really important show and in such good quality too. Too many highpoints to mention individually, but the Dark Star > Wharf Rat > Dark Star is now my all-time fave sequence.
I have agree that this run at the Capitol Theater should get it's own boxset...it's a vital part of the Grateful Dead's evolution.
Subject: very nice
Subject: beautiful jam
Subject: don't understand
Subject: great show!~
(Thank God we're not "dead" yet) hehe,..
Subject: Good Stuff
very good Bertha for sure, with the uptempo, it's good all year really, but check out 5/9/77 that will kick you silly.
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: That jam is beautiful
The jam out of Wharf Rat into Dark Star is so good. It has an old '65 Early Morning Rain ring to it.
Subject: Moved to tears
Subject: "Beautiful Jam"
Subject: WOW!! many-first ever played.
Subject: Tasty Dark Star
Subject: Inferior Version
Subject: Three Cheers for Dark Star!!!!
Subject: Dark Star
Subject: Sid Weiss?
The other version has a high pitch squeal throughout.
Great show...I love the short versions of songs. 5 first-timers in this show. Some good humor too.
Subject: great sets,,not a great recording
Subject: confused by track numbering
01. Bertha (7:13) *
02. Truckin' (11:03)
03. It Hurts Me Too (7:42)
04. Loser (8:21) *
05. Greatest Story Ever Told (3:45) * >
06. Johnny B. Goode (3:39) *
07. Mama Tried (3:29)
08. Hard To Handle (8:01)
09. Dark Star > (7:03)
10. Wharf Rat * > (7:21)
11. Dark Star > (7:14)
12. Me And My Uncle (4:04)
01. [Lucky Lager Dance Time] (2:39)
02. Casey Jones (6:10)
03. Playing In The Band (5:09)
04. Me And Bobby McGee (6:06)
05. Candyman (9:46)
06. Big Boss Man (5:40)
07. Sugar Magnolia (8:29)
08. St. Stephen > (5:57)
09. Not Fade Away > (4:33)
10. Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad > (5:01)
11. Not Fade Away (3:59)
12. Uncle John's Band (6:44)
Subject: Top Ten!!
Dr. Flashback ;-)
Subject: First night for Loser.
Great first Bertha. Unpolished but energetic. Decent, not great 1st Dark Star (of the night), excellent Wharf Rat and brilliant 2nd Dark Star. Really articulate guitar work from JG. Start at 1:15 for his solo.
Mix gets 4.5 stars, sound gets 4, setlist gets 5. This is very close to 5 stars on a strict scale.
Subject: oh my ...
Subject: Wharf Rat>Dark Star